BOISE — A Middleton man accused of having nearly 100 images of child pornography on his cellphone has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of a child.

Matthew D. Owens, 35, was arrested Sept. 5 following an investigation by the the Idaho Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. He is charged with 10 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to the Idaho online courts repository.

On Aug. 16, a Canyon County prosecutor was assigned to follow-up on a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to a probable cause affidavit. The tip’s incident came from July 1 and reported finding images to a phone and email address categorized as youth in “sex act” or “lascivious exhibition,” according to the affidavit.

A search warrant was obtained for Owens’ address in Middleton and served on Sept. 5, where a preliminary search of a cellphone found 98 child pornography images, the affidavit claims.

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The affidavit states Owens told police he didn’t know how the images ended up on his phone.

Owens’ next court appearance is set for Sept. 16. He is currently in the Canyon County jail on a $250,000 bond, according to the repository.

Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is encouraged to contact local police, the Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at 208-947-8700 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

Emily Lowe is the Canyon County public safety reporter. Follow @EmLoweJourno on Twitter

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